Heavy snowfall across France and Belgium caused severe transport disruption on Tuesday as roads became congested and Eurostar cross-Channel services ground to a halt.

At Paris' Gare du Nord station, Eurostar passengers were told that no trains were expected to run due to the severe weather which has seen most of northern France put on orange alert -- the second highest level.

Eurostar told Reuters that whilst they hoped to be able to run some trains later on Tuesday their advice was for passengers not to travel.

One disappointed passenger, Monica, arrived at Gare du Nord hoping to visit her family in London.

"Snow came, and the world stopped," she said, adding that at least Paris looked picturesque in the wintery weather.

Cross-Channel services linking London and Brussels were also affected, and commuters in the Belgian capital faced delays and congested highways on their morning commute.

Normandy was particularly affected by the weather with part of the region put on red alert, the first time the highest level has been used according to French Ecology Minister Delphine Batho.

Presented by Adam Justice